State and community leaders graduate from South Carolina economic development training program

COLUMBIA, S.C. –  The S.C. Department of Commerce(S.C. Commerce) and S.C. Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA) today announced that 49 state and community leaders have graduated from a statewide economic development training program, the S.C. Economic Development Institute (Institute).

“As South Carolina has transformed into a global leader in the economic development arena, teamwork has been key,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “The success the state has enjoyed in recent years can, in large part, be attributed to the remarkable amount of collaboration that takes place within our borders. Programs like the Institute help ensure that our team is knowledgeable, innovative and united.”

A collaborative effort between S.C. Commerce and SCEDA, the program is designed to arm participants with innovative development approaches for implementation in local communities. The program features a highly-interactive curriculum, allowing participants to obtain greater hands-on economic development learning experience.

Now in its 29th year, the Institute consists of quarterly, two-day sessions that are hosted in various locations throughout the state. In addition to the final session, which took place in Spartanburg, sessions were also held in Bluffton, Clinton and North Augusta. During the sessions, attendees gained insight into issues relating to: leadership and communication skills; community development; business and industrial development; and product development. On November 8, as the final session concluded in Spartanburg, 49 local leaders received certificates of completion.

The Institute is open to individuals from a wide variety of organizations and entities, including city, town and county councils; local economic development practitioners; county economic development boards; county school boards; regional economic development boards; utility companies; and local and state government employees. The 2020 program includes sessions in Beaufort, Lake City, North Augusta and Orangeburg. 

More information on this training program can be obtained by visiting or contacting SCEDA at (803) 929-0305.
2019 South Carolina Economic Development Institute gradutes, listed alphabetically by last name:
(Click on the hyperlink for a photo of the participant)

Steve Aldrich, Union County Development Board
Mary Anderson, Chesterfield County Council     
Sonja Barkley, S.C. Department of Commerce
Moses Bell, Fairfield County Council 
Clay Bishop, Hampton County
Curtis Boyd, Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association
Jeff Carroll, Laurens County Council
Lisa Claxton, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
Russell Cornette, Town of Summerville
Todd Cullum, Lexington County Council
Amy Dixon, Dorchester County Economic Development
John Elliott, Oconee County Council
Victoria Fowler, SC Department of Employment and Workforce
William Freeman, Town of Kingstree
Clarence Gilbert, Fairfield County Council
Amy Graham, S&ME Engineering
Ron Hanna, Berkeley County Economic Development 
Dwayne Hatchett, Spartanburg Economic Futures Group
Emelie Hegarty, City of Greenville
Morgan Holcomb, Oconee Economic Alliance
Mallory Hollis, Upstate S.C. Alliance
Jeff Humphries, Union County Development Board
Kostas Ioannidis, S.C. Small Business Development Centers
Hillary Johnson, Marion County Economic Development Commission
Hope Jones, Florence County Economic Development Partnership
Whit Kennedy, M.B. Kahn Construction Co. Inc.
Stewart Kidd, Kershaw County Economic Development Office
Jason Knudsen, City of Simpsonville
Emory Langston, Lower Savannah Council of Government
Jill Longshore, S.C. Department of Commerce
Amanda Lucas, Apprenticeship Carolina
Stephen Murray, City of Beaufort
Devin Parks, Conway Chamber of Commerce
Katherine Pendergrass, Union County Development Board
Harriett Rucker, Newberry County Council
Kyle Sox, Spartanburg Economic Futures Group
Connie Spencer, Chesterfield County Economic Development
Kevin Szostak, Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce
Charlotte Tallent, McCormick County Chamber of Commerce
Tiffany Tate, Upstate S.C. Alliance
Norris Thigpen, S.C. Department of Commerce
Elizabeth Tranter, Horry County
Mike Tyler, Town of Jonesville
Tim Van Pelt, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation 
Adam Wagoner, SC Department of Employment and Workforce
Ralph Watson, Chesterfield County Council     
Zach Wiley, SC Department of Employment and Workforce
Jermaine Whirl, Greenville Technical College

Graduate not pictured is Lisa Rock of the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association.